There’s a quaint little no frill bakery located in Little Italy that’s worth the visit. One thing that irked me were the weird hours(closing early on Saturdays and not even open on Sundays)… being a full time student up at UCSD and working in Sorrento Valley makes it hard to come down to Little Italy in time on the weekdays as traffic on the 5 is crappy like around 5 or so. However the store has recently changed their hours to stay open later on Saturdays and open at least half the day on Sunday so now I can visit more often. The bakery seems to be split into two sides. One side is responsible for serving several lunch items like pastas and sandwiches which I have yet to try. While the other side which all the warm sweet aromas are emanating from, the bakery is what keeps me coming back. I tend to have this habit of trying something that I like and then its hard for me to try something new from the same shop. At Solunto’s this happens to be the cannoli($1.50 for small and $3.00 for large). It consists of a fried pastry shell filled with cannoli cream which in this case tasted like a blend of marscapone and ricotta cheese, sweetened with sugar and flavored with vanilla. The pastry is then finished with chocolate sprinkles and powdered sugar. This tasty treat is sinfully rich and yummy… the crunchy pastry with the sweet silky cream is almost orgasmic. The ones picture below are large so if you still want to indulge but want to lay off on the calories you can go with the small which is about half the size of the large. The smell of this bakery reminds of the bakeries I’d walk past by during class when I was in Rome…it even comes complete with the little old grandma/matriarch figure that bosses the other workers around and seems in charge of filling the cannolis with cream. For a little taste of Italy at an affordable price you should visit this place definitely.
-Solunto’s Bakery and Deli1643 India St.San Diego CA 92101(619)233-0595M-Sa 7am-6pmSu 8am-2pm
Recently I experimented with grilling cedar plank salmon. I’ve heard good things with this technique and it seems like its not too difficult to get a great tasting piece of fish even on the first try. The moisture from the planks is absorbed by the fish as well as the subtle cedar aroma. The heat from the grill slowly dries the planks which slowly causes it to smoke and also lend a smokey flavor to the fish. Anybody can make a great tasting piece of salmon the first time around. As long as you pay attention to your fish!
- ~ 1lb of your favorite type of Salmon steak
- Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- cedar planks
- Prepare planks in advance by soaking them in water for at least an hour
- Preheat grill to medium heat…. 350 F (if you don’t have a temperature gauge or use charcoal instead you’ll have to go by feel)
- Wash and dry salmon. Cut to fit onto planks.
- Brush a thin coat of Dijon mustard onto the salmon. Next rub in the salt pepper, brown sugar, thyme and paprika evenly over the fish. You can use any other type of seasoning if you wish…I just happened to have these on hand.
- Place none skin or none seasoned(if skinless) side down on the plank. Place plank in middle of grill and keep lid closed as much as possible for faster cooking. Cook 12-18 minutes depending on size and thickness.
- Serve with your favorite sides. I like to serve mine with basamati rice, grilled french beans and grilled sweet bell peppers with sweet onions.
A While ago I was watching the Food Network and Rachel Ray’s Tasty Travels was on. Now I’m not the biggest Rachel Ray fan but she was talking about the places she was visiting in the OC and since I live in San Diego which is a stones throw away I thought hey why not just listen what she’s got to say since I’m around that area often enough. One of the restaurants that caught my eye was the Sundried Tomato Cafe. The menu seemed eclectic and the place looked cute. I decided the check out the location in San Juan Capistrano since its closer. The small quaint restaurant is located in a charming old town type of neighborhood so you can work up an appetite walking around before grabbing a bite.
The server brought us gratis… a basket of kalamato olive rolls and small french loafs as well as a small plate of flaky cinnamon rolls. The bread along with the sundried tomato butter was quite tasty however I’m a fan of warm bread which this wasn’t. I had never received cinnamon rolls for gratis so it was a delightful yummy surprise. They were so flaky and cinnamon-y..I’d really like to get a hand on that recipe.
Not too long later the waiter brought our entrees… 1/2 lb Angus burger($11) and three cheese pasta($13).The meatwas exceptionally moist and well seasoned in between a toasted onion roll. Haha… beats having your average hamburger at a poor college student BBQ. The potatoes were bad but it tasted like they boiled them before roasting them.
The three cheese pasta was extremely rich and and flavorful. The chunks of chicken were quite tender and the bits of sundried tomatoes weren’t too salty. However, after a few bites I found myself overwhelmed by richness of the cheeses and packing it to go. Oh well..it made a delicious lunch the next day.
-The Sundried Tomato Cafe31781 Camino CapistranoSan Juan Capistrano, CA 92675(949)661-1167http://www.thesundriedtomatocafe.com/